Hitman: Agent 47, 2015.
Directed by Aleksander Bach.
Starring Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Thomas Kretschmann, Ciaran Hinds and Zachary Quinto.
An Assassin teams up with a woman to help her find her father and uncover the mysteries of her ancestry.
The mark of a good video game adaptation isn’t necessarily due to faithfulness to the source material, but using the characters found within to carve out a worthy slice of entertainment. That’s why when I initially saw the trailer for Hitman: Agent 47, featuring the titular Agent 47 straight-up using his Silver Ballers to rack up a body count instead of, you know, being a silent assassin as intended by the developers of the game franchise, I still held out hope that on some level it could potentially be a fun check your brain at the door action adventure flick.
And in some ways that goal is accomplished; there are certainly a number of stylized shootouts and close quarters combat scenes, but they are marred by poor amateurish direction with head-scratching choices. Shooting out a glass window so a bunch of dudes can get sucked into the rotor of a plane, subsequently getting chopped up into mincemeat is a fantastic idea on paper for the very people with a bloodlust coming out to give this movie a chance, except the execution has horrible CGI with janky physics and a gratuitous amount of computer-animated blood. That also sums up every action set-piece found here. Translation: all the awesomeness is lost. Hitman: Agent 47 feels like the result of giving a 12-year-old a chance at directing a Hollywood action film.
Of course none of these sequences hold any weight emotionally considering that 75% of the narrative is dumped as exposition during the opening credits. Either way, it’s all a mess and boils down to a reverse Terminator scenario where everyone is searching for a damsel in distress, where she unknowingly joins the bad guy. The story then decides to rip off Terminator some more with general themes on what it means to be human despite being a genetically modified killing machine.
Alongside inept direction (there must be over 15 pointless overhead shots of Singapore) and a staggeringly stupid plot, is an admirable attempt at showcasing some genuine love for the mechanics of the games. Not everyone will understand why Agent 47 is escaping heavily guarded areas nonchalantly in disguise, but it’s there and possibly proof that at least one person on this production team has played a Hitman game for roughly 5 minutes. There is also a brilliantly overlooked meta joke where one sequence is compared to a game, with one character recollecting which camera spotted her. All of us familiar with the games have had that moment of finishing a mission under the impression that we were a silent assassin, until the mission report screen tells us we were indeed put on alert status once, leaving us picking our own brain to pinpoint where we made a mistake.
Everything else is stupid; again, the fight scenes are plentiful but highly forgettable, and if you have seen the trailer you have literally seen every single awesome kill the movie has to offer. Aside from one clever joke and making me interested in visiting Singapore, Rupert Friend also does a good job at giving Agent 47 a very stoic, robotic personality that works for someone programmed to murder. It’s just a shame that this fine performance was wasted on this atrocious adaptation of Hitman.
As one last note, this movie probably has the single dumbest ending scene to a film all year. Monumentally stupid doesn’t even begin to describe it. I will give Hitman: Agent 47 this though; it’s entertaining and flies by. Fox may have it rough between this and Fantastic Four, but at least one of them didn’t write out 75% of its action sequences.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★ ★
Robert Kojder – An aficionado of film, wrestling, and gaming. Follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook